GM says 19 fatalities are tied to initial ignition switch defect image

The US automaker provided the country’s federal safety regulator with information in relation to the fatal crashes that involve the company’s recalled cars for ignition switch defects. The tally now stands at 19 deaths.

So far, the 2.6 million older cars that were first discovered to be equipped with the deadly ignition switch only had a 13 deaths toll, with another three fatalities tied to another related switch recall. Now, the carmaker has provided evidence that links the three older models recalled in February – Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR and the Saturn Ion – to no less than 19 fatalities. The information was sent to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and subsequently posted on Wednesday to NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting (EWR) database.

The covered fatal crash data goes back to 2009 and doesn’t include accidents victims’ names, nor it directly links the crashes to the defective ignition switches. Instead, the EWR database lists “reported components” as the potential contributing factors to the fatal crashes. GM also broke down the fatal data by model for the NHTSA – at least 14 fatal crashes and 15 deaths for the model years 2005-2009 Chevrolet Cobalt; three deaths in three crashes for the 2007 Chevrolet HHR and two fatalities in two accidents involving the 2005-2006 Saturn Ion.